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Work has begun on an extension to the Bathurst Railway Station’s car park to ease the increasingly busy precinct’s parking squeeze.
The heavy machinery was on hand as a shovel was ceremonially dug into the dirt on Monday morning to mark the start of the NSW Government’s $700,000 work that will add 43 car parking spaces to the station.
The railway precinct has undergone a revival since the Bathurst Bullet return daily train service to Sydney made its debut in October 2012 and its parking spaces fill quickly of a morning.
John Hollis of Rail Action Bathurst – the lobby group that was instrumental in convincing the NSW Government to fund the Bullet and which has been pushing for upgrades to the track between Bathurst and Lithgow – said the extended car park would be the next stage of the station’s evolution.
“It’s been interesting to watch the process of development for this area, as a railway precinct,” he said.
“It’s going to improve the facilities of this railway station and that, in turn, will improve the facilities for the [Bathurst] Bullet.
“The Bullet is gradually growing in popularity and patronage.
“Everyone knows the Bathurst Bullet.”
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the new spaces would “complement the railway museum next door [the Bathurst Rail Museum planned for the Railway Institute Building] and in the future we are also going to see adapted re-use of the old cottage on the corner of the block”.
“It’s fantastic that we’ll see the concrete, the lighting, they’ll be one way in, one way out and there’ll be plenty of plantation that’ll occur as a part of the design of the new car park,” Mr Toole said.
“It’s all about providing services for the customer and this is exactly what is being provided with the 43 additional car parking spaces.
“Bathurst is an important transport hub for regional NSW, particularly for those customers who drive to and from the station to connect with services to Sydney, Broken Hill and Dubbo.
“These improvements will revitalise its look and feel, while helping to ensure pedestrian safety and reduce traffic congestion around the bustling station.”
The project will also make changes to the railway yard, including the relocation of entry points to reduce traffic within the railway forecourt.
Mr Toole said the government is looking at further funding for railway services to Sydney.
The new car parking spaces will be free for customers.
This article first appeared on www.westernadvocate.com.au
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